I suspect this hotel is coming close to its “best by” date. It appears to be fraying around the edges and based on our experience, it needs urgent management action if it is to justify marketing itself as a 4-star establishment.
Based on the experiences of others here, a room with sea-view & air-conditioning was booked over the Boat-show/Air-show weekend, arriving Thu 26 Sep, departing Mon 30 Sep.
While the taxi collection and check-in went well, on the first (Fri) morning, it was obvious the AC wasn’t functioning properly. It was reported, allegedly “fixed” but that night it started to degrade again. A second complaint on Saturday with a demand either to fix or move us to a room with functioning AC (response “Sorry the hotel is full”) as paid for, or if the AC couldn’t be fixed to refund a portion of the daily fee (response "I can’t do anything, you can speak with a manager”) produced a cooler room that evening ("The maintenance man said the AC is ok and is working the same as in the other rooms") but the same problem arose on the Sunday morning which we just couldn’t be bothered complaining about. While making the complaint on Saturday, we overheard other patrons asking for their AC to be looked at, so clearly this is an issue premises-wide.
Curiously too, on the Saturday, I had seen a man, whom I thought to be a maintenance person, going around with a can of WD40. I wonder if he was spraying the AC condensers with this to prevent them icing up? Icing would be indicative of lack of coolant gas in the system, most likely from leakage, and it should have been spotted at annual maintenance, gas top-up and pressure testing.
We found Wi-Fi reception on the 7th floor and around the reception desk (password from reception), so no surprises there.
There was a sea view which was paid for as an extra.
The room was quite small, maybe 12 sq m altogether.
The bed mattress may have been sprung - when new. The bed base was timber. The beds were hard. The pillows were high and springy. The bed linen had clearly been laundered and both looked and smelt fresh, but had tears. Since this seemed to have been provided by a contract company, it was clear no random acceptance check had been carried out when it was delivered and that rooms were not checked by a house-keeper or overseer post-makeing up.
The frame for the sliding shower doors had been damaged at some earlier time and amateurishly repaired - one shower door didn't close fully, leaving a 5 cm gap. Some type of lubricant had been used to try to make the doors run freely, but they didn’t and the lubricant had left a greasy black-grey scum. There was a mould-like mark where the shower door frame met one tiled wall, but that might have been missed by the cleaners if the shower doors were left open during cleaning. There appeared to be steel-wool scrub marks on the basin and on some of the tiles.
But there was always hot water, the towels were changed daily and there was always a supply of toilet paper.
The TV in the room was useless - the tube was close to failure and the picture, what there was of it, was squeezed and warped on the screen.
There was one spare socket - a twin round-pin type, but to use a UK-type, it was necessary to unplug either the fridge, satellite box or TV, so bringing a double adaptor might be useful if staying here. We found dribbles of water with soot-like traces coming from the AC unit and falling onto the dressing table underneath.
An electric fan could be bought just down the street and one of these would be a worthwhile investment if one was staying for more than a long weekend, if our experience with the AC is the norm.
There was some concern caused by marks on the outer door & the door frame around the lock receiver area but the lock functioned.
Breakfast was adequate.
The breakfast room is badly laid out, which results in those queuing to get at a part of the meal, having to stand over and around those already eating. It's an awkward and intrusive system and it could be solved quickly - if there was a management desire to do so. The breakfast menu lacked imagination and a typical Swedish buffet breakfast would leave the Kennedy Nova morning offering in the poor place.
There was a near-constant shortage of plates or cutlery or cups or something else vital, and on several mornings the vocal waiter was none too happy about having to clear up after patrons had finished their meal, to make the tables ready for the next (and waiting) batch of guests. He may have been overworked, but bringing 3-4 cups now, a half dozen knives or forks then, a carafe of water or any other single item after that, at a time when 10-12 people were waiting for coffee/tea, china or cutlery showed he wasn't going to stress himself!
And maybe that is the core issue with the establishment, from top to bottom - no one is going to stress themselves or go out of their way to make the guest's experience good, better or memorable.
On more than one morning, the waiters had to be told that the coffee machine had run out of creamer for coffee.
Properly brewed coffee? Aspirational at the Kennedy Nova!
Some of the delays could have been avoided by having a water boiler available for those taking tea.
The resupply of food and cooked items by the cooking/kitchen staff went reasonably well every day.
The reception staff were generally passably courteous to me, although one of them appeared a little brusque - her remark to a lady who was looking for directions to a church for her Sunday service (‘I only come in to work here I don't have to know the names of the local streets’) could have been better phrased - and I don't think the words or the tone used had anything to do with unfamiliarity with English.
The 7th floor bar provides a pleasant view of the harbour area but the sole staff member is waiter, cleans tables and is barman, thus delays are inevitable.
The menu here is bar food, from what I saw, and again I overheard two remarks from one barman (“If you want ketchup, you get it yourself” And “All courses are served together”) which might be susceptible of a take-it-or-leave-it approach to the patron. But maybe he was simply being matter-of-fact?
Musical entertainment - not to my liking or much in tune on one evening, but this is a personal issue - was provided at the bar on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
On Sunday morning, an alarm call (unsolicited) came from reception at 7 am. When told no alarm call had been booked, the reply was a “Hee hee, just let me check” and when again told that no alarm call had been asked for, another “Hee hee, let me check”. There was no further mention of this, so what, if any, checking was done never became clear. An apology was - and as you'd expect by now, if you've read this review from the top - not forthcoming.
Worthy of mention is a tour-booker, Sarah M, who, though not apparently employed by the hotel, was customer focused, friendly, efficient and knowledgeable.
So, in summary:-
We experienced AC problems over the entire period. Management/maintenance may have resolved them to their own satisfaction, but not to ours.
Wi-Fi (free log-in) seems to be available in the 7th floor bar/pool area and with a log-in password in the hotel reception area.
The staff appear to be dour, tired and worn-out dealing with the same questions and problems from the patrons. They seem apathetic of customer care, bordering on indifference and insolence. The well-polished excuses rolled off the tongue too easily.
The room we had was small.
The bed was uncomfortable.
The bed linen was laundered but had tears and nicks.
The shower area needed a good clean down and refurbishment.
One doubts the value of a supplement for a sea-view room, but the alternative seemed to look into a type of service yard.
This is not 4-star accommodation. I am surprised that it is allowed to trade under that guise - it shouldn’t be. Nor should it be beyond the capacity of the Maltese Tourist Authorities to carry out a star regrading on the premises.
If you’re prepared to accept somewhere between 2 and 3.5 stars, then maybe you won’t be disappointed by the Kennedy Nova - maybe.
- Also Known As:
- Kennedy Nova Il Gzira
- Hotel Kennedy Nova Malta/Il Gzira
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- If you are looking for the perfect base in Malta then you have found it. The Kennedy Nova is a four-star, seafront hotel just a stone’s throw away from the crystal blue Mediterranean waters.Situated right in the heart of Malta’s busy shopping and seaside district Sliema, Hotel Kennedy Nova offers both comfort and convenience for visitors to the island. This family-run establishment has been popular since the 1960’s and today maintains it’s reputation as a well-liked four-star hotel that caters for both long and short haul trips, and is ideal for either business or pleasure.Whether it is a tranquil few days of relaxation you are after, or a handy city hotel minutes away from the action, Hotel Kennedy Nova will suit you perfectly. Offering great food, relaxing surroundings and an abundance of atmosphere, it will fast become your home away from home for as long as you choose to stay.We are pleased to offer you a variety of amenities, services and packages during your holiday, and may even help you plan your dream Mediterranean wedding. Whatever you are looking for, we can help make it happen. After all, we have been in the business of creating dream holidays for over forty years.We look forward to welcoming you soon. ... more less
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